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Thursday, October 9, 2008

BMF's Big Meech approves biopic rights

That's what we've been told by James DuBose, the hopeful producer of a feature film about the Atlanta and L.A.-based Black Mafia Family and its heads, the Flenory brothers. Talking to CL from Hollywood, where his production company, DuBose Entertainment, makes reality-TV shows, DuBose says he's secured all media rights to the BMF story from the big cheese, Demetrious "Big Meech" Flenory himself.

click to enlarge Big Meech in his high-rollin' days
  • Big Meech in his high-rollin' days

"It'll be his story, as told by him," DuBose says of the film he hopes to make about Flenory and his brother, Terry Flenory. "I'm going to get the facts from the source."

Although he doesn't have a theatrical distribution deal at this early stage – or a script, for that matter – DuBose says he hopes to start production on a movie sometime next year with a plan to shoot at least some of the scenes on location in Atlanta. The shooting budget could be as high as $20 million, he says – small beans for a studio film, but decent money for an independent production.

DuBose says he isn't concerned that he may end up with a movie that's slanted toward the point of view of a convicted crime syndicate kingpin eager to rehabilitate his image. "We just want to tell the truth," DuBose says. "We want (the movie) to be as accurate as possible."

It already seems clear that DuBose is planning a more sympathetic portrait of Flenory than that offered by, say, federal prosecutors.

"Meech has that Robin Hood thing going on," he says, hinting at claims that the Flenorys aided poor neighborhoods with money and gifts. "This isn't your typical story about young black men going to jail for dealing drugs; there's a lot of different levels here and information that hasn't come out yet."

DuBose, however, says he hasn't paid Flenory to authorize the project.

Previously, DuBose has produced such TV shows as "Blind Date" and "Bad Boys of Comedy," and has worked with broadcast and cable networks. But he says he waited for just the right project to launch his company into feature films. Apparently, BMF is it.

(Full disclosure: My colleague, Mara Shalhoup, is completing work on a book on BMF to be published next year; that book has also been optioned for a movie.)

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